Friday, October 7, 2011

The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison

The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison

YA Mystery

Rating: 3 Stars

Penelope (Lo) Marin has always loved to collect beautiful things. Her dad's consulting job means she's grown up moving from one rundown city to the next, and she's learned to cope by collecting (sometimes even stealing) quirky trinkets and souvenirs in each new place--possessions that allow her to feel at least some semblance of home.

But in the year since her brother Oren's death, Lo's hoarding has blossomed into a full-blown, potentially dangerous obsession. She discovers a beautiful, antique butterfly pendant during a routine scour at a weekend flea market, and recognizes it as having been stolen from the home of a recently murdered girl known only as "Sapphire"--a girl just a few years older than Lo. As usual when Lo begins to obsess over something, she can't get the murder out of her mind.

As she attempts to piece together the mysterious "butterfly clues," with the unlikely help of a street artist named Flynt, Lo quickly finds herself caught up in a seedy, violent underworld much closer to home than she ever imagined--a world, she'll ultimately discover, that could hold the key to her brother's tragic death.

First Thoughts: I couldn't decide if I wanted to read this one or not at first. I thought about it and ultimately what made me choose to just do it was the cover. White with blood red on it makes a pretty intriguing cover. The synopsis is what made me have to think. I love mysteries but lately I am big in the paranormal and this clearly wasn't fitting that category. But I decided to take a chance and did.

Writing Style: I am sorry to say that I did not cope will with this writing. I understand Penelope has OCD and I don't. So I don't know how OCD people really are but I just could not stand the constant repeat of things. The entire novel consists of the repeat of "Sapphire is dead," "I feel connected to her," "I can't stop thinking about her murder." I just could not stand the repetition so much. Repetition has been bugging me a lot lately. Her other repetition like the tapping and counting is understandable because she does have OCD but with the others it just became too hard to read.

Characters: Penelope clearly has OCD. I got that immediately into reading the book. How could no one else notice? Her parents, the students, and the teachers. They all know something is wrong with her but no one steps up to help. That just doesn't seem real to me. I sympathize for Penelope and her family, they have been through rough times. But to ignore this condition that is ruining her life and putting her life at risk is kind of ridiculous. I just couldn't stand any of the characters. Penelope needed to see a shrink. Flynt was a liar and time and time again the proof was right there. Her mother needed to be in a hospital. Her father is too aggressive with Lo and her condition and is in denial. I just couldn't connect with any of the characters.

Final Thoughts: I liked the book. It wasn't fantastic but overall it's a pretty good mystery. The action was nice and there were a lot of twists even though some were probably a little boring and expected. I had a feeling who the bad guy was but with all the twists it threw me off so I guess that's good. Overall, there were parts of the book that I could enjoy but near the end of the book I basically just had to force myself to finish. It's a nice book but could be better.

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